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by Kenneth Samples
In the last decade a slew of Narnia movies were released in theaters and, though C. S. Lewis has been gone more than 50 years, his books are still as popular as ever. He’s the famous atheist-turned-Christian, but what exactly did he believe and what did he contribute to Christianity? Here’s your crash course on the life and accomplishments of C. S. Lewis—and why he still matters today.
Who Was C. S. Lewis?
C. S. Lewis (1898–1963) was an Irish-born Anglican thinker and author who taught English literature at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Lewis served in the English Army during World War I and converted from atheism to Christianity when he was in his early 30s. During World War II, Lewis presented talks on the BBC radio station titled “The Case for Christianity.” Lewis was a member of the famous Inklings literary discussion group at Oxford University that also included such distinguished authors as Charles Williams, Owen Barfield, and J. R. R. Tolkien. He was married late in life to Joy Davidman Gresham whose death from cancer led Lewis to write the book A Grief Observed. Lewis died on November 22, 1963, the same day as the deaths of President John F. Kennedy and author Aldous Huxley.
What Did C. S. Lewis Write?
Lewis is well known for his extremely popular fictional writings, like the children’s series The Chronicles of Narnia as well as his science fiction series The Space Trilogy. But perhaps his two most important apologetics-related books are Mere Christianity and The Problem of Pain. In the first he explains and defends the basic (or common) truths of Christianity whereas in the second he tackles the monumental challenge of pain, suffering, and evil.
What Did C. S. Lewis Believe?
C. S. Lewis was an orthodox Anglican, yet he was well known for emphasizing the common ground that all Christians share. Arguably, Lewis’s three most important ideas or arguments for the God of Christian theism are…
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